Author Topic: ASCII Characters  (Read 19843 times)

Offline Bob B.

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Re: ASCII Characters
« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2013, 03:06:24 PM »
I've just been playing around in Word and have discovered a few things.  For any character in Word, if you place the cursor to the right of the symbol and press ALT+X, the symbol is replaced by its Unicode value in hexadecimal.  The reverse is also true.  If you type the hexadecimal Unicode, place the cursor to the right of the code, and press ALT+X, the code value changes into the symbol.

There appears to be something in Word that converts the 900-series decimal values to hexadecimal.  As stated before, when I press and hold ALT while typing 945 I get a lower case alpha.  However, when I place the cursor to the right of the alpha and press ALT+X, the symbol changes to 03B1 - the hexadecimal form of 945.  When I press ALT-X again it changes back to the alpha symbol.  However, when I type 945, place the cursor to the right and press ALT-X, I get the symbol whose hexadecimal value is 945.

I think the reason my Word at home doesn't work is because of the older version, though I'm going to experiment with it further.  I'm interested to see if I can get Greek symbols to work using the ALT+X method with the hexadecimal Unicodes.

Offline grmcdorman

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Re: ASCII Characters
« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2013, 05:42:22 PM »
Bob, what Word does is not necessarily related to what your browser does. Word provides considerably more sophisticated user-input mechanisms, including the Alt-X mechanism you describe. In Word 2007, this is bound to ToggleCharacterCode, which (with the horrible Ribbon UI) is under 'Commands not in the Ribbon' in the keyboard shortcuts.

In general, as I posted, it seems the Alt+9xx sequence isn't documented, so there is no guarantee it will work - as you have found. Take a look at the Wikipedia article I linked to; that describes the "usual" Alt+ combinations.

Offline Bob B.

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Re: ASCII Characters
« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2013, 05:59:41 PM »
I don't have a problem with this forum; I'm perfectly fine with it just as it is.  When I have a long reply I typically type it into Word first and then copy and paste it into the Browser, so I'm far more interested in getting Word to work for me than the Browser.  My complaint was never about Apollohoax, it was about TheSpaceRace.  The problem over there is that the symbols won't display not matter what I do.

I'm sure now that my problem with Word is the older version.  None of the ALT+X functions work with the version I have at home.  The only way I can use symbols is to insert them from the Symbols template.  That's probably easier than remembering the hex codes anyway.  Of course I'm way past due for an upgrade.

Offline Not Myself

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Re: ASCII Characters
« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2013, 11:35:05 PM »
Hmm. Wiki page on the Alt code has good information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt_code

What a great page.  I wonder why no one posted this link before?  ;)

None of the references I can find mention anything about codes in the 900-range.

I have had limited success using the registry hack described in the wikipedia.org link.  The problem is that these codes need to be entered in hex, and (at least in Firefox), ALT-b is interpreted as a browser command, not part of a character code.  So if the hex code for a character has a "b" in it, I can't do it :(

I suspect that what may be happening for Bob B. is that something along the line is translating to Code Page 437, and then to UTF-8.

I believe that is exactly what is happening, as described in some of the earlier posts.  The wikipedia.org link claims that this is a deliberate action by Microsoft to maintain compatibility with codes people had already memorised before the transition to Unicode.  So when entering a 900-series code, it is misinterpreted as a CP-437 code.  Because CP-437 only works on 128-255, the code entered is taken modulo 255.  The result is a CP-437 character, which is then promptly translated back to the UTF-8 equivalent character (I guess CP-437 doesn't have anything that isn't included in Unicode) for posting at the web page.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 11:48:13 PM by Oxyartes »
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Offline Not Myself

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Re: ASCII Characters
« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2013, 11:41:32 PM »
I don't have a problem with this forum; I'm perfectly fine with it just as it is.  When I have a long reply I typically type it into Word first and then copy and paste it into the Browser, so I'm far more interested in getting Word to work for me than the Browser.  My complaint was never about Apollohoax, it was about TheSpaceRace.  The problem over there is that the symbols won't display not matter what I do.

I'm sure now that my problem with Word is the older version.  None of the ALT+X functions work with the version I have at home.  The only way I can use symbols is to insert them from the Symbols template.  That's probably easier than remembering the hex codes anyway.  Of course I'm way past due for an upgrade.

Per some of my posts, there's a way to be able to do the 900-codes (sort of) with a registry hack.  However (1) you seem happy with the way things work at this board, and (2) I don't think this will fix the problem at the other board, so this hack may be of limited value to you :)

Inspired by cjameshuff, I tried LaTeX at the other board.  Didn't work.
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Offline ka9q

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Re: ASCII Characters
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2013, 04:00:21 AM »
So how do the Chinese handle this problem? Their alphabet is far larger than any reasonable number of keyboard keys, so they must have to compose them with sequences of keystrokes.

I know the Japanese work something like this. When personal computers were new they typed in "Romaji", Japanese transliterated into Roman characters, but I think they now spell a word phonetically, e.g., in kana, and the keyboard handler turns it into kanji. But I don't speak the language.
 

Offline Not Myself

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Re: ASCII Characters
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2013, 10:48:19 AM »
There appear to be many systems for entering Chinese, including spelling the characters in Pinyin.  As there are often many characters with the same Pinyin spelling, you then have to choose which one from a menu.

Other systems (which are supposedly faster for a skilled user) have one compose the character from key combinations which designate the strokes in the character.

My phone allows me to draw Chinese characters - either my drawing or its recognition is a little bit spotty, though.
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